Overview

Video game magazines used to be the hub of video game discourse, with the latest news, editorials on the state of the industry, and, of course, reviews. While the internet eventually buried most of these magazines I still find it fascinating to look through them to see what was a big deal at the time and how others viewed particular games.

I wanted to make these magazines more accessible, while learning more about my favorite genre: the JRPG. So I have collected as many JRPGs reviews from magazines as I could and presented them here. I hope you find them as interesting as I do, and maybe find some new games you would like to play. If you’re here you’d probably also be interested in my JRPG project, where I use a mountain of data to attempt to find the best system for JRPGs based on review scores, price, exclusivity, and more.

Almost all scans are from RetroMags, an invaluable resource for video game history. A few scans I found from internet searches years ago and don’t know the origin of, sorry. I hope to update this archive a few times a year as more scans become available. As for the games, I am using JRPG Chronicle’s JRPG Index, which is maintained by Lucca. It’s a great website and discord channel for JRPG lovers, check it out if you’re into JRPGs.

This project includes video game magazines from the United States and United Kingdom. I generally stuck to magazines with at least a dozen issues available, which includes most of the big magazines you’ve heard of, other than Game Informer and GameFan, which do not want scans of their magazines online.

The included magazines are Computer & Video Games, Dreamcast Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro, Gamers’ Republic, GMR, Next Generation, Nintendo Power, Official Sega Dreamcast Magazine, Official U.S. Playstation Magazine, Playstation Magazine, Pocket Games, PSExtreme, Sega Force, Sega Visions, Ultra Game Players, and VideoGames & Computer Entertainment/Video Games – the Ultimate Gaming Magazine.

Games are listed by their official title in North America at the time and in alphabetical order without leading articles. Series with roman numerals are in number order rather than alphabetical. The order can look weird since titles can vary in length as well as where the spaces, numbers, and colons go. If a game was released on multiple systems with the same name I have indicated which the review is for. I’ve done my best to get exact names correct, but let me know if I’ve made a mistake.

The earliest game included is 1988’s Phantasy Star, the third JRPG to reach North America or Europe, while the latest is 2014’s Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. There are very few reviews from after 2010, though, as there were few magazines left, and even fewer scans available of them. The 1994-2000 era is probably the most complete period.

There are a few anomalies worth noting. Magazines occasionally reviewed the Japanese versions of games, and sometimes they never ended up coming to the region that the magazine served. There are a few retrospective reviews, written years after a game came out. Nintendo Power’s early days threw out review scores inconsistently, sometimes giving scores to games without a written review, or giving scores in a walkthrough. They even reviewed Brandish twice.

You can click on the images to expand them to full size. Pressing the right arrow key or clicking on the right half of the image will go to the next image, while the left arrow key and left half of the image will go to the previous. Pressing escape will close the image lightbox. You may want to open some very large images in a new tab. Filenames start with the the name of the magazine if you ever want to check.

Total Games: 503

Total Games with a Colon in the Title: 182

A – 21 games

  • Advance Guardian Heroes
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
  • Advance Wars: Dual Strike
  • Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos
  • Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean
  • Alundra
  • Alundra 2
  • Arcana
  • Arc the Lad
  • Arc the Lad Collection
  • Arc the Lad: End of Darkness
  • Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
  • Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia
  • Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island
  • Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana
  • Atelier Iris 2:  The Azoth of Destiny
  • Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm
  • Avalon Code
  • Away: Shuffle Dungeon
  • Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe
  • Azure Dreams

B – 22 games

  • Baten Kaitos
  • Baten Kaitos Origins
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Beyond the Beyond
  • Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light
  • Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War
  • Blue Dragon
  • Blue Dragon Plus
  • Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand
  • Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
  • Brain Lord
  • Brandish
  • Brave Fencer Musashi
  • Bravely Default
  • Breath of Fire (SNES)
  • Breath of Fire (GBA)
  • Breath of Fire II (SNES)
  • Breath of Fire II (GBA)
  • Breath of Fire III (PS1)
  • Breath of Fire IV
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
  • Brigandine

C – 25 games

  • Cadash
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
  • Children of Mana
  • Chocobo’s Dungeon 2
  • Chrono Cross
  • Chrono Trigger (SNES)
  • Chrono Trigger (DS)
  • CIMA: The Enemy
  • Coded Arms: Contagion
  • Contact
  • Cosmic Fantasy 2
  • Crimson Tears
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
  • Crystal Warriors
  • Crystalis (NES)
  • Crystalis (GBC)
  • Cubivore
  • Custom Robo Arena

D – 44 games

  • Dark Cloud
  • Dark Cloud 2
  • Dark Savior
  • Dark Souls II (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)
  • Dark Wizard
  • Dawn of Mana
  • Deception 3: Dark Delusion
  • Defenders of Oasis
  • Deep Labyrinth
  • DemiKids Light Version/DemiKids Dark Version
  • Destiny of an Emporer
  • Digimon World
  • Digimon World 3
  • Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
  • Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (PS2)
  • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories (PS2)
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
  • Dokapon Journey
  • Dokapon: Monster Hunter
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (Wii)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2)
  • Dragon Crystal
  • Dragon Force
  • Dragon Slayer
  • Dragon Warrior I & II
  • Dragon Warrior II
  • Dragon Warrior III
  • Dragon Warrior IV
  • Dragon Warrior VII
  • Dragon Warrior Monsters
  • Dragon Warrior Monsters 2
  • Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors
  • Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
  • Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2)
  • Dragon Valor
  • Dragon View
  • Dragonseeds
  • Drakengard
  • Dungeon Explorer
  • Dungeon Explorer II
  • Dungeon Magic
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam

E – 18 games

  • EarthBound
  • Ehrgeiz
  • Elemental Gearbolt
  • Elemental Gimmick Gear
  • Enchanted Arms (PS3/Xbox 360)
  • Ephemeral Fantasia
  • Eternal Eyes
  • Eternal Ring
  • Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360)
  • Etrian Odyssey
  • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard
  • Evergrace
  • E.V.O.: Search for Eden
  • Evolution Worlds
  • Evolution: The World of Sacred Device
  • Evolution 2: Far Off Promise (DC)
  • Exile (TurboGrafx)
  • Exile: Wicked Phenomenon

F Part 1 – 22 games

  • Faria: A World of Mystery and Danger!
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Final Fantasy (NES)
  • Final Fantasy (PSP)
  • Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
  • Final Fantasy II (SNES)
  • Final Fantasy II (PSP)
  • Final Fantasy III (SNES)
  • Final Fantasy III (DS)
  • Final Fantasy IV (DS)
  • Final Fantasy IV Advance
  • Final Fantasy V Advance
  • Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
  • Final Fantasy VIII (PS1)
  • Final Fantasy IX (PS1)
  • Final Fantasy X (PS2)
  • Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2)
  • Final Fantasy XI Online (PS2/PC)
  • Final Fantasy XI Online (Xbox 360)
  • Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia (PC)
  • Final Fantasy XII
  • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings

F Part 2 – 25 games

  • Final Fantasy Adventure
  • Final Fantasy Anthology
  • Final Fantasy Chronicles
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon
  • Final Fantasy Legend II
  • Final Fantasy Legend III
  • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
  • Final Fantasy Origins
  • Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
  • Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (GC)
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (DS/Wii)
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
  • Fire Emblem
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
  • Folklore
  • Forever Kingdom
  • Fossil Fighters
  • Front Mission 3
  • Front Mission 4

G – 15 games

  • Golden Sun
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age
  • Grandia (Saturn)
  • Grandia (PS1)
  • Grandia II (DC)
  • Grandia II (PS2)
  • Grandia III
  • Grandia Xtreme
  • The Granstream Saga
  • Great Greed
  • Grim-Grimoire
  • Growlanser: Generations
  • Guardian Heroes
  • Guardian War
  • Guardian’s Crusade

H – 16 games

  • .Hack Part 1: Infection
  • .Hack Part 2: Mutation
  • .Hack Part 3: Outbreak
  • .Hack Part 4: Quarantine
  • .Hack//G.U. Vol. 1//Rebirth
  • .Hack//G.U. Vol. 2//Reminiscence
  • Harvest Moon: Animal Parade
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
  • Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
  • Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness
  • Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands
  • Heroes of Mana
  • Hero’s Saga
  • Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth
  • Hybrid Heaven
  • Hydlide

I – 5 games

  • Illusion of Gaia
  • Infinite Undiscovery
  • Inindo
  • Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon
  • Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns

J – 3 games

  • Jade Cocoon
  • Jade Cocoon II
  • Jeanne D’Arc

K – 15 games

  • Kagero: Deception II
  • Kartia: The Word of Fate
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom of Paradise
  • King’s Field (Japan)
  • King’s Field (North America)
  • King’s Field II
  • King’s Field: The Ancient City
  • Knight Quest
  • Knights in the Nightmare (DS)
  • Koudelka

L – 37 games

  • Lagoon
  • La Pucelle: Tactics
  • Legacy of Ys: Books I & II
  • The Legend of Dragoon
  • Legend of Legaia
  • The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion
  • The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch
  • Legend of Mana (PS1)
  • Legend of Oasis
  • The Legend of the Ghost Lion
  • Legend of the River King
  • Legend of the River King 2
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/Xbox 360)
  • Little King’s Story (Wii)
  • Little Ninja Brothers
  • Lord of Arcana
  • Lost Kingdoms
  • Lost Kingdoms II
  • Lost in Blue
  • Lost in Blue 2
  • Lost in Blue 3
  • Lost Magic
  • Lost Odyssey
  • Lucienne’s Quest
  • Lufia & the Fortress of Doom
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
  • Lufia: The Ruins of Lore
  • Luminous Arc
  • Luminous Arc 2
  • Lunar Knights
  • Lunar Legend
  • Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
  • Lunar: Dragon Song
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete
  • Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (PS1)
  • Lunar: The Silver Star

M – 42 games

  • Magical Starsign
  • Magician’s Quest: Mysterious Times
  • Magic Knight Rayearth
  • The Magic of Scheherazade
  • Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color
  • Magna Carta: Tears of Blood
  • Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome
  • Mario Golf (GBC)
  • Mario Golf: Advance Tour
  • Mario Tennis (GBC)
  • Mario & Luigi: Boswer’s Inside Story
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Master of Monsters: Disciples of Gaia
  • Mega Man Battle Network
  • Mega Man Battle Network 2
  • Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue Version/White Version
  • Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun/Blue Moon
  • Mega Man Star Force 3: Red Joker/Black Ace
  • Mega Man X: Command Mission (PS2/GC)
  • Medabots: Metabee Version/Rokusho Version
  • Metal Gear Ac!d 2
  • Metal Walker
  • Monster Hunter
  • Monster Hunter Freedom
  • Monster Hunter Freedom 2
  • Monster Kingdom Jewel Summoner
  • Monster Rancher
  • Monster Rancher 2
  • Monster Rancher 3
  • Monster Rancher 4
  • Monster Rancher Advance
  • Monster Rancher Advance 2
  • Monster Rancher Battle Card
  • Monster Rancher Battle Card: Episode II
  • Monster Seed
  • MS Saga: A New Dawn
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)
  • Musashi: Samurai Legend
  • Mystaria: The Realms of Lore
  • Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer
  • My World, My Way

N – 5 games

  • Nightmare of Druaga
  • Ninety-Nine Nights
  • Ninja Boy 2
  • Ninja Taro
  • Nostalgia

O – 8 games

  • Odin Sphere
  • Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
  • Ogre Battle: Limited Edition
  • Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (SNES)
  • Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (Saturn)
  • Okage: Shadow King
  • Onimusha Tactics
  • Opoona

P Part 1 – 17 games

  • Paladin’s Quest
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga
  • Paper Mario
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
  • Parasite Eve
  • Parasite Eve II
  • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PS1)
  • Phantasy Star
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Phantasy Star Collection
  • Phantasy Star Online
  • Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II (Xbox/GC)
  • Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution
  • Phantasy Star Universe (Xbox 360/PS2)
  • Phantasy Star Ø

P Part 2 – 19 games

  • Phantom Brave
  • Phantom Brave: We Meet Again
  • Pocket Kingdom: Own the World
  • Pokémon Colosseum
  • Pokémon Diamond Version/Pearl Version
  • Pokémon Emerald Version
  • Pokémon Gold Version/Silver Version
  • Pokémon FireRed Version/LeafGreen Version
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team
  • Pokémon Platinum Version
  • Pokémon Ranger
  • Pokémon Red Version/Blue Version
  • Pokémon Ruby Version/Sapphire Version
  • Pokémon Stadium
  • Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
  • Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness
  • Popolocrois

Q – 1 game

  • Quest 64

R  – 14 games

  • Radiata Stories
  • Record of Lodoss War
  • Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory
  • Rengoku II: The Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N.
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PS1)
  • Robopon Sun Version/Star Version/Moon Version
  • Robopon 2: Cross Version/Ring Version
  • Robotrek
  • Rogue Galaxy
  • Romancing Saga
  • Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
  • Rune Factory Frontier

S Part 1 – 34 games

  • Saga Frontier
  • Saga Frontier 2
  • Saiyuki: Journey West
  • Secret of Evermore
  • Secret of Mana
  • Secret of the Stars
  • Seventh Cross Evolution
  • The 7th Saga
  • Shadow Hearts
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant
  • Shadow Hearts: From the New World
  • Shadow Tower
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force CD
  • Shining Force Exa
  • Shining Force Neo
  • Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
  • Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining Force III
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shining Soul
  • Shining Soul II
  • Shining Tears
  • Shining the Holy Ark
  • Shining Wisdom

S Part 2 – 27 games

  • Skies of Arcadia
  • Skies of Arcadia Legends
  • Sorcerer’s Kingdom
  • Soul Blazer
  • Spectral Souls
  • Spectrobes: Origins
  • SpellCaster
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
  • Suikoden
  • Suikoden II
  • Suikoden III
  • Suikoden IV
  • Suikoden V
  • Suikoden Tactics
  • Suikoden: Tierkreis
  • Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2
  • Super Hydlide
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Ninja Boy
  • Super Paper Mario
  • Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier
  • Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2
  • The Sword of Hope
  • The Sword of Hope II
  • Sword of Mana
  • Sword of Vermilion

– 24 games

  • Tactics Ogre (PS1)
  • Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
  • Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
  • Tail of the Sun
  • Tales of Destiny
  • Tales of Destiny 2
  • Tales of Legendia
  • Tales of Phantasia
  • Tales of Symphonia
  • Tales of the Abyss (PS2)
  • Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology
  • Tales of Vesperia (Xbox 360)
  • Tao’s Adventure: Curse of the Demon Seal
  • Tecmo’s Deception: Invitation to Darkness
  • Terranigma
  • Thousand Arms
  • Threads of Fate
  • Time Stalkers
  • Tobal No. 1
  • Torneko: The Last Hope
  • Trapt
  • Tsugunai: Atonement
  • The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang

U – 3 games

  • Uncharted Waters
  • Uncharted Waters: New Horizons (SNES/Genesis)
  • Unlimited Saga

V – 14 games

  • Vagrant Story
  • Valhalla Knights
  • Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Valkyrie Profile
  • Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
  • Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth
  • Vandal Hearts
  • Vandal Hearts II
  • Vanguard Bandits
  • Vay
  • Virtual Hylide
  • Virtua Quest

W – 14 games

  • Wanderers From Ys (SNES/Genesis/TurboGrafx)
  • Warsong
  • Wild Arms
  • Wild Arms 2
  • Wild Arms 3
  • Wild Arms 4
  • Wild Arms 5
  • Wild Arms Alter Code: F
  • Wild Arms XF
  • Willow
  • A Witch’s Tale
  • Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land
  • The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
  • The World Ends with You

X – 4 games

  • Xenogears
  • Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
  • Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits Von Gut Und Bose
  • Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra

Y – 7 games

  • Yggdra Union
  • Yakuza
  • Ys Book I & II
  • Ys III
  • Ys: The Ark of Napishtim
  • Ys: The Vanished Omens
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses

Z – 2 games

  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

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